In Luke 21:19 Jesus stated “In your patience possess ye your souls.” It takes patience to continue to live the word of God in the midst of a world of many temptations, including religious hypocrisy. When there are people around that claim to love Jesus, but show a different attitude and spirit, it will take great patience in tribulation to not throw your hands up and say “what’s the use, everyone is a hypocrite!”
“…but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Having hypocrites around causes people to feel ashamed. This is only natural: hypocrisy is very shameful!
“So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” (2 Thessalonians 1:4-6)
Everyone’s patience is going to be tried with the temptation of hypocrisy. If we don’t keep the word of Jesus with patience, we’ll just give up and cast away our confidence and our only hope.
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:35-39)
In another place Jesus by a parable described the condition of every heart that ever has or will exist upon the face of the earth. It was the parable of the seed being sown on four different types of ground. He explained the parable this way:
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a “while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:11-15)
It takes “an honest and good heart” to keep the word of God, in spite of temptations, “and bring forth fruit with patience.” But it is the good and honest heart that Jesus will keep “from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
The “hour of temptation” did come to those of Philadelphia. Anytime you have some of the “synagogue of Satan” still hanging around, you have the potential beginnings of trouble brewing, just as we saw start happening way back in Smyrna. If these types of spirits working in people are not kept out by sound judgment preaching and by everyone keeping the fervency of their “first love”, then these same religious spirits will eventually work their way back in. All the troubles noted already during the previous church ages, will happen all over again against the true worshipers of God. You will need to keep the “word of my patience” to stay true during these times.